Wednesday, August 30, 2023

At First Sight by Sharon Michalove Book Review

About the Book:

Twenty years ago, Cress Taylor and Max Grant were strangers in Oxford, England, but when their paths crossed, a spark was lit. Now, in the hustle of bustling Chicago, Cress is a successful novelist receiving mysterious threats, and Max is a former spy working for a global security company. When Max sees Cress in a TV interview, it ignites his curiosity. They soon find themselves tangled in an intense game of cat and mouse. As Max swoops in to protect Cress from anonymous threats, they must decide if they are willing to risk their hearts and take a chance on love. As threats escalate and Max's big Scottish family arrives in Chicago for Christmas, Cress and Max must learn to trust each other and overcome their fears to have a Happy New Year.

My Review:

This is a romantic suspense with emphasis on romance. The pace of the first half of the book is methodical and slow. While there are some threats and the hint of a villain, most of the plot centers around Cress and Max getting to know each other. Midway through there is finally some danger. The threats escalate and possible danger becomes more real.

The character development is over the top. Cress, a self admitted klutz, over reacts to almost every sound. She spill drinks, drops tea cups, trips and has various other intense reactions to surprising but somewhat normal events. I found her a difficult character to like. Max, a suitable protective hero, is quite emotional, more so than any Scotsman I've known. Michalove excels in description and we read much about cars and operas and buildings. The narrative alternates first person between Cress and Max. Although each chapter clearly has the individual point of view identified, I did find the technique was a bit confusing once I was well within each chapter. Her writing style was generally good but at times a little odd. “I shake my head and laugh like a drain,” for example.

This is a novel for readers who like a romantic suspense with a slow build and deals more with relationship development than action or suspense.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

About the Author:

Sharon Michalove
writes romantic suspense and traditional mystery as well as being a published historian. After growing up in suburban Chicago, she spent most of her life in a medium-sized university town, working as an academic professional as well as teaching history. She was married to a composer and frequently uses her knowledge of music, history, and food to enrich her novels. A hockey fan, Sharon moved back to Chicago in 2017 so she could go to Blackhawks games and spend quality time at Eataly Chicago.

Coffee and Eclair Books, 340 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)